May 26, 2023

Why Illinois is a great place for seniors to retire

Manny Cominsky

There are many reasons why Illinois is a great place for seniors to retire. One of the main reasons why Illinois is such an amazing retirement destination for seniors is that it offers an array of remarkable healthcare facilities and state-run programs tailored specifically for seniors. Illinois also offers a range of attractive cities and towns which cater to diverse interests and preferences, ensuring that seniors can find their perfect home. Seniors can immerse themselves in world-class museums, art galleries, theaters, and historical landmarks, or bask in the natural beauty of parks, nature preserves, and recreational areas. Furthermore, Illinois has favorable tax policies, including exemptions for retirement income and property taxes, allowing seniors to make the most of their hard-earned savings. To learn more about why Illinois is so great for seniors, read our guide below or reach out to the Sunbound team for more information.

Illinois healthcare programs for seniors

One of the most important features of a retirement destination is that it has access to high quality health care. As we age we only encounter more health concerns, and so it is incredibly important to consider healthcare quality when thinking about where you want to spend your retirement years. One of the best reasons to retire in Illinois is all the amazing healthcare facilities and state-run health programs for the elderly that are offered. 

Amazing healthcare facilities

Illinois boasts exceptional healthcare facilities that prioritize the specialized needs of seniors and the elderly, providing them with comprehensive and outstanding care. Two notable examples of such facilities are Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

Rush University Medical Center stands out for its dedication to geriatric care and research. With the renowned Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, it focuses on studying and treating memory and cognitive disorders associated with aging. At their Geriatric Assessment Clinic, a multidisciplinary team of specialists conducts comprehensive evaluations and develops personalized care plans to address the specific challenges faced by older adults. Their commitment to improving the quality of life for seniors is evident in their patient-centered approach.

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, located in Park Ridge, is widely recognized for its outstanding geriatric services. Their Geriatric Assessment Center offers comprehensive assessments and specialized care plans, aiming to promote independence, enhance quality of life, and effectively manage chronic conditions. The center provides a range of services, including memory assessments, falls prevention programs, medication management, and caregiver support. By collaborating closely with patients, their families, and community resources, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital ensures that older adults receive holistic and tailored care.

These two healthcare facilities exemplify the exceptional dedication and expertise found within Illinois's healthcare landscape, ensuring that seniors and the elderly receive the highest level of care and support.

Medicare and Medicaid

While Medicare and Medicaid aren’t unique to Illinois (these programs are jointly funded by the federal government and all of the states), it’s worth mentioning both programs as part of the overall healthcare ecosystem that you will have access to as an Illinois retiree. 

Medicare is a federal health insurance program available to individuals aged 65 and older. It consists of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, and certain home health services. Part B covers doctor visits, outpatient care, preventive services, and durable medical equipment. Additionally, seniors can opt for Medicare Part D to obtain prescription drug coverage. Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans are also available in Illinois, offering additional benefits beyond traditional Medicare.

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that provides healthcare coverage to low-income individuals, including seniors with limited financial resources. In Illinois, the Medicaid program covers medical services, hospitalization, prescription drugs, and long-term care. Eligibility criteria, including income and asset limits, apply. Seniors who meet these requirements can benefit from comprehensive healthcare coverage through Medicaid.

Illinois Community Care Program (CCP)

The Illinois Community Care Program is designed to help seniors who require assistance with daily activities to remain in their homes or community settings. It provides in-home services such as personal care, homemaking, meal preparation, and adult day services. This program helps seniors maintain their independence while receiving the necessary support to meet their healthcare needs.

Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

The Senior Health Insurance Program is a free counseling service provided by the Illinois Department on Aging. Trained counselors offer information and assistance on Medicare, Medicaid, and other healthcare programs. They help seniors navigate through various healthcare options, understand insurance coverage, and make informed decisions regarding their healthcare needs. SHIP counselors provide personalized guidance, ensuring seniors receive appropriate and affordable healthcare.

Prescription Assistance Programs

Illinois offers various prescription assistance programs that can greatly benefit seniors. The Illinois Cares Rx program assists low-income seniors with the cost of prescription drugs, ensuring they can afford necessary medications. Additionally, pharmaceutical manufacturers and nonprofit organizations often provide prescription drug assistance programs that offer discounted or free medications to eligible individuals.

Benefit Access Program

The Benefit Access Program (formerly known as the Circuit Breaker Program) provides financial assistance to seniors and people with disabilities. Eligible seniors can receive discounts on license plate fees, public transportation, and the Illinois Tollway. These savings can significantly contribute to reducing overall healthcare costs for seniors.

Affordable cost of living and low retirement taxes

Along with access to high quality healthcare, you also want to make sure that your retirement destination has a reasonable cost of living to help you make the most of your retirement savings once you’ve stopped working full time. This is another feature that makes Illinois a great retirement destination as Illinois exempts nearly all forms of retirement income from state taxes.

Illinois allows seniors to deduct almost all retirement income from their state taxes, including Social Security income, income from private and public pensions, and income from retirement savings accounts like IRAs. This means that many Illinois seniors are not subject to Illinois state income taxes at all. While Illinois does have high property taxes and sales taxes, Illinois does have a senior citizen homestead exemption for people aged 65 and above which allows homeowners with a total income of less than $65,000 to deduct between $5,000 and $8,000 (depending on county of residence) from the home value of property tax purposes. 

Amazing cities and rich culture 

Illinois is home to diverse and vibrant communities, catering to various interests and lifestyles. Whether seniors prefer the charm of small towns or the amenities of larger cities, Illinois offers a range of options. Communities like Naperville, Evanston, and Springfield provide access to cultural events, recreational activities, dining options, and community engagement, ensuring that seniors can find a welcoming and engaging environment to call home.

All of these amazing cities and towns add up to a state that  is rich in cultural and recreational opportunities for a wide range of interests. Illinois boasts world-class museums, art galleries, theaters, and historical landmarks, ensuring that seniors can enjoy enriching experiences and immerse themselves in the arts and culture scene. Additionally, Illinois offers beautiful parks, nature preserves, and recreational areas, providing ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, and fishing.

To learn more about how Sunbound can help make senior living more affordable for you or your loved one, send us an email at or request more information on Sunbound. Sunbound is the best way to pay for senior living and is on a mission to make senior living affordable for everyone.

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